Sunday, 9 September 2012

PC Franklin - describes the scene

I left my last post at the point where PC Franklin is aware that a body has been found at Harrowdown HillHis examination by Mr Dingemans continues with his going to the scene:

Q. After you get that information, where did you go?
A. PC Sawyer and I attended Harrowdown Hill and went to the scene. We were unsure initially whereabouts we were going, but we passed Paul from the South East Berks Volunteers and he directed us to two uniformed police officers and DC Coe.

Use of Christian name "Paul" but with no surname indicates that they knew each other reasonably wellNo mention of the presence of Louise Holmes which I will discuss later.  Regarding the two uniformed officers this is interesting: the question I would ask is 'where did they come from?'  As will be seen when I come to look at his evidence PC Sawyer also says Coe was with two uniformed officers.

Q. The South East Berks Volunteers, what are they?
A. They are SEBEVs. South East Berks Volunteers. They are an organisation we use regularly for missing person searches.
Q. To help?
A. To help us. They are a highly professional and motivated organisation.

This post describes SEBEV getting involved: 

Q. You mentioned DC Coe. Was he part of your search team?
A. No.
Q. What he was he doing?
A. He was at the scene. I had no idea what he was doing there or why he was there. He was just at the scene when PC Sawyer and I arrived.
Q. Who was in charge of the scene at this time?
A. DC Coe was until I turned up and then I took charge of
the scene.

PC Franklin then appears to be thrown by the presence of DC Coe.  I think that the phrase 'the scene' could well extend to the track adjoining the eastern side of the wood.

Q. Did you get taken into the wood?
A. DC Coe took us into the woods, PC Sawyer and myself, to the area where the body was.
Q. And what did you see there?
A. We walked between 50 and 70 metres into the wood up a slight gradient, and in a clearing at the base of a tree was the body of a white male.

The impression given is that of Coe being on the track or possibly on the bank adjacent to the track when Franklin arrives.  Coe's 'approximately 75 yards' converts to just under 69 metres which falls into the 50 to 70 metre range described by PC Franklin.

Q. Do you recall what was being worn?
A. I believe he had a blue jacket on, a white coloured shirt and blue denim jeans.
Q. And what was his position?
A. He was lying on his back with his right hand to his side and his left hand was sort of inverted with the palm facing down (Indicates), facing up on his back. 

Different witnesses give differing accounts of the two arm positions and whether the left hand is palm up or down.  Analysis of this to come in due course.

Q. Did you see any signs of injury on the body?
A. There was a fair amount of blood to the left wrist area and on the left hand, and a fair amount of blood sort of puddled around.
Q. On the ground?
A. On the ground, yes.

The whole argument that death occurred as a result of haemorrhage needs evidence of sufficient blood loss at the scene to sustain it.  His description of 'a fair amount of blood sort of puddled around' is worryingly vague and we have another witness, DC Coe, in his press interview failing to spot this blood.  If blood, or something with the appearance of blood, was added to the scene then Franklin may have observed more "blood" than was present on his first arrival.  When I had looked at the blood in detail earlier in the blog I had criticised Hutton and Dingemans for not pressing Franklin to give more information about the blood he saw at the scene.

Q. Did you see whether or not there was a watch or anything on the body?
A. If I may refer to my notes?
Q. Yes, of course.

A. The wrist watch was lying away from the body, next to a knife. The wrist watch was just to the left of the left arm, with the knife next to it, and also there was an open bottle of water at the scene.

Dingemans employs strange phraseology here to introduce the watch:  '... was a watch or anything on the body?'  Why doesn't Franklin properly locate where the bottle was situated?  He remarks that it was an open bottle but fails to speak about its top.

Q. An open bottle of water?
A. Yes, the wrist watch was off the wrist.
Q. What, mineral water?
A. A bottle of, yes, mineral water, a plastic bottle.
Q. How large was that bottle, a big bottle or a small one?
A. A small one.
Q. And what did the knife look like?
A. The blade was open. It was some sort of lock knife. I cannot be that precise. I believe it had a curved -- slight curve to the blade. The blade was maybe 3 to 4 inches long.
Q. Was there anything on the blade?
A. Blood.
Q. Was there anything else beside the bottle of water, the blade and the wrist watch?
A. No. 

Franklin fails to mention the Barbour cap even though he has been checking his notes.


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